All New Zealand is now at COVID-19 Alert Level 1. For more information visit


Margret Westwater-Hobbs

Doctor of Philosophy, (Health Sciences)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
(D)-graded female bodies and the emergence of weight-loss surgery: A discourse analysis of narratives relating a precarious moment in the medicalisation of women's weight

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Within the last century, as large bodies came to be regarded as unattractive and deviant, the project of appearance has become entangled in projects of health.  Alternative understandings of large body size and the possibilities for large-body health have been effectively silenced.  Ms Westwater-Hobbs explored the conspicuous creep of cultural prescription, morality and trade - including Direct-to-Consumer advertising - driving the proliferation of surgery for weight loss within New Zealand.  This thesis explored some unexpected, unpredictable, and adverse outcomes experienced by weight-loss surgery patients particularly when surgeons had minimal experience, training and oversight.  It is suggested that greater attention to informing consent might stem the tide of surgery uptake and improve the provision of care for weight-loss patients.

Professor Jenny Carryer
Professor Mandy Morgan
Dr Suzanne Phibbs

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey